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Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Blog

The Impact That Hard Water Has on Your Plumbing


You’ve probably heard about hard water and know that it’s not something you want flowing through your home’s plumbing. Hard water refers to water that contains a high volume of dissolved minerals, mostly magnesium, calcium, and gypsum. Hard water is common in cities: the minerals seep into the water through the ground and enter the pipes so water treatment plants can’t counteract it. 

The best way to eliminate hard water in your home is to have a special water softener installed. You can call on our plumbers in Glenview, IL to install one of these devices, which uses sodium ions to replace the hard water ions. 

But why bother at all? Since hard water isn’t harmful to drink, why make the effort to put in a softener? The answer is that hard water is often ruinous for plumbing and appliances. It comes with several other side effects that can make life in your house a bigger hassle. We’ll look at what hard water does to your plumbing so you’ll know why a water softener is a good idea.

Damage to Appliances

The minerals in hard water leave behind scale on surfaces they touch, especially if the minerals are heated out of the water. This scale can severely damage the water-using appliances in your home by creating clogging and obstructions and generally forcing more wear and tear on them.

The most susceptible appliance to hard water damage is your water heater. With a tank water heater, scale will build up inside the tank and make it much easier for the tank to overheat. It will also reduce efficiency and make the water heater work harder so it wears down faster. Tankless water heaters are at high risk as well, since their small intakes can easily become clogged with minerals and impair their operation. (Installing a water softener is often mandatory when having a tankless water heater put in.)

Buildup in Pipes

The scale that hard water leaves in pipes is another major problem for plumbing. If you’ve ever seen a section of piping that’s had years of exposure to hard water, you’ll understand why: the scale buildup will become thick enough that it will restrict the space in the pipe. This will lead to spikes in water pressure, leaks, clogging, and early pipe replacements. Hard water will significantly shorten the life of your pipes.

Other Annoyances

Scale from hard water doesn’t just appear inside the plumbing system—it appears on fixtures as well, leaving behind an ugly, flaky residue. This residue is often one of the first signs homeowners receive that they’ve got hard water troubles. The residue will make surfaces filmy and make it difficult to keep your house clean. Because hard water doesn’t allow soap to dissolve in it easily, it will also leave behind soap scum, not only on surfaces but in hair and on skin. 

If you want to put a stop to hard water troubles, call us and we’ll take care of it!

For expert plumbing service, installations, or maintenance contact Reliance Plumbing Sewer & Drainage, Inc. Our knowledgeable plumbers serve the North Shore and Northwest Chicago suburbs. Rely on Reliance! 

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